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Topic: Do you read while you are writing?

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Subject: Do you read while you are writing?
Date Posted: 7/24/2009 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 79
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OK, So I lost my mind and decided that I wanted to write a novel. Well, to be more accurate, the story just showed up all on its own – I’m just the typist. I just wish I could type as fast as the scenes form in my head - and they are like movie scenes, almost.  Is that normal? Should I really be spending my time looking for a good shrink instead of typing? :)

 

Anyway – I’ve stopped reading any other fiction while I’m writing this down – I’m afraid parts of any book I’m READING would slip into what I am (trying to) write. I am still doing some research reading, but no novels – and I miss them.

 

So – my question – when you are writing, do you still read books similar to what you are working on? And, if so, does the - flavor - of them slip into what you are writing?

Date Posted: 7/24/2009 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I try to stay away from anything too overtly similar.  I write all the time, so if I stopped reading because I was writing, I would be miserable.  I know other people who stay away from fiction early on in a project and then start reading again after draft one is completed.

I'm less worried about the inadvertant plagerism factor then I am about comparing myself to others..

Date Posted: 7/24/2009 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I read while I write since I write most days.  Though I tend not to read what I am writing about.

As for scenes going fast in your head. Write down the main points first so you dont forget anything. But not being able to keep up with ones mind is very common..LOL  I am dyslexic and can never keep up with my own thoughts if they go at full speed and usually I have 3 trains of thought going on at one time.  I commonly write two stories at the same time and just switch out between them.

I am doing a short story writing challenge today -sat and sun. 2,000 minimum and you have to do first edit during that time too. Think I am going to do a sci fi story that keeps popping into my head.

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 123
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I do, because I like to get myself into the mood before I sit down and write, and also to note mistakes that motivate me to write better than the author I'm reading. (*grin*) But usually when I see anything that I might be in danger of copying, I make a mental note of it, and think about how I could do the opposite--or something like that. It's actually a cool challenge if you're looking for a story idea: think about major plot twists you've seen (example: One magical or gifted child in the midst of normal people) and change it around (a whole population of magical or gifted people with a normal main character).

To quote a Pixar villain: "And then, when everybody is super, nobody will be." Take that a step further, and you actually have the idea that if everybody is super, nobody is--and if someone pops up who isn't, then he actually is. *Scratches head* Kind of deep. *Laugh*

*Shrug* Sort of a rabbit trail--sorry. But yes, I do like to read in the genre I'm writing.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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Like Pam, I read while I write, but not usually the same genre.  I also have multiple stories going at once, reading and writing. It helps in my writing because the main characters in each story are so different I can pick one depending on my mood.

 

Keep writing. Paper and ink is cheaper than therapy.

 

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,898
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I just wish I could type as fast as the scenes form in my head - and they are like movie scenes, almost.  Is that normal?

This is so how I type,lol.Like for me it's all unraveling like a movie and I'm just typing as I'm watching therefore I'm yelling,laughing or even pouting at certain events as I type them.Maybe I'm the one who needs a shrink,LOL.

*Oh and I don't read while I write,I don't want to make the mistake of possibly accidently using something I've read.



Last Edited on: 7/30/09 6:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/23/2009 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 2
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I dont actually read when I type. I usually listen to music. I don't even pay attention to the lyrics I just like listening to the beats.

Subject: Hell yeah!
Date Posted: 12/29/2009 2:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 75
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 I just wish I could type as fast as the scenes form in my head

Have you considered writing it as a movie script. Even as an excercise in getting the images out of your brain and onto the page / screen. You can always go back and put in the descriptions but getting the dialogue or action down in script form might make it flow out of your head better.

I use Final Draft 8 for this - it formats for you as you type into industry standard format templates.

"I’m afraid parts of any book I’m READING would slip into what I am (trying to) write."

Aboslutely. For me, that's part of the fun - reading something that makes you think about an image in acertain way and then putting your own spin on it and reformulating it into your own words. In postmodern culture we call it "bricolage." From the French meaning "to steal" It's perfectly acceptable. Especially if it works for you. But if you are hung up on copyright or subconscious intellectual property theft then its not working for you; it's stalling you, so don't do it.

So – my question – when you are writing, do you still read books similar to what you are working on?

So- my answer - hell yes I do.

And, if so, does the - flavor - of them slip into what you are writing?

Hell yes it does. And it frees me to write my best work.

but it might not work for you.